We are all familiar with the quote, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” Despite mankind’s professed betterment and scientific achievements, we really are not any different from our early ancestors. Nowhere is this found to be more accurate than when it comes to our dealings with one another.
Lately there has been a lot of discussion on how to solve the problem of cyber bullying. What is it? Cyber-bullying is when a person is mean or cruel to another person through the use of technology. It could come in the form of mean text messages or e-mails, rumors sent by e-mail or posted on a social networking site, or embarrassing pictures or videos posted on a website. This type of bullying has gotten so severe that in some cases teens have committed suicide. Cyber bullying is not just a problem affecting young people. ThePew Research Center recently revealed that 39% of all people on a social network (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc…) will be bullied. Since cyber bullying today is so prevalent, how can a person effectively deal with it once it happens? This question can be answered by asking another question: How was bullying dealt with in the past?
Mentally and physically tough people will tell you to confront the bully. But that doesn't work for everyone. I know it didn't work for me. I can recall in the 7th grade I experienced a bullying problem (I know, I know... It’s hard to believe). There was a kid in my grade who had failed the 5th grade, which left him being bigger than every other boy in the 7th grade. He certainly used this to his advantage. He would boss people around and make them do his homework. People were so afraid of him they would lie to teachers repeatedly in his behalf. As a direct result of his bullying, everyday at lunch he would somehow end up with two lunches despite him only having a ticket for one!
One day in the cafeteria, while eating his second lunch, he started to pick on an isolated, heavyset kid. Everybody knew that this kid was “special”, and in my mind he crossed the line. So I approached him and said, “Leave him alone man, you know he’s retarded (We were less politically correct back then)!” The bully finished swallowing some of his second apple juice and yelled, “Yeah, retarded like your mother!”
What was I to do? He just insulted my mother, right in front of me. He said it loud enough for half of the school to hear. You could hear some of my fellow classmates saying, “Ooh!”
What happened next neither I nor anyone else could have seen coming. To be honest I kind of blacked out. The only reason I can recall the story is because of my best friend relating it to me later. Well, what happened?
I stood up to the bully. I walked up to him. He stood up and I looked up, right into his eyes, and said, “I rather have a retarded mother than have a mom in jail, for being the neighborhood hooker!” By this time the teachers have approached to separate the two of us. As we were being broken up the bully resounded, “We’ll finish this after school!” To which I responded, “You know where I be at!” Until this day, I don’t know why he was so upset. Everything I stated was factual.
So what did I do next? I did what any other person would do in my situation.
Once the bell rang, I ran to the bus as fast as I could! Usain Bolt would have been proud of my running form on that day. For the next 2 weeks I hid from the bully. I took different routes to classes, including going to the nurse’s office for lunch.
Eventually the bully caught up to me, but that’s not the point. The point is that a bully can’t bully you, if you’re not around. The way I dealt with my bully is the same way youth and any other person can handle a cyber bully today. If a person is bullying you on the internet, block them. If you cannot block them, tell the authorities, perhaps they can break you and the bully apart. But if all else fails just sign out, or turn you electronic device off. It’s not worth killing yourself. You can live without being on the internet. Trust me. Mankind has survived without being on a social network for centuries. I’M JUST SAYING!